MN Adopts Equity Crowdfunding; MD Organizations Announce Partnership Crowdfunding Portal

July 09, 2015

Last month, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed the MNVest bill – an intrastate securities exemption that allows Minnesota-based companies and entrepreneurs to raise money through equity crowdfunding. To qualify for the exemption, businesses must show evidence of several requirements including being organized under state laws and that its principal office is located in Minnesota. Companies can raise capital from both accredited and non-accredited investors from across the state. In any 12-month period, a company cannot raise more than:

  • Up to $2 million if the business provides prospective purchasers with audited or reviewed financial statements; and,
  • Up to $1 million if the financial statements are not audited or reviewed.

The exemption allows accredited investors to invest an unlimited amount (up to the maximum investment of $2 million) in companies using the state rules. However, non-accredited investors are capped at $10,000 per transaction.

To facilitate investments and protect consumers from fraud, the offering must be conducted exclusively through an authorized MNvest portal – an authorized broker-dealer registered by the State of Minnesota as a portal that meets the conditions outlined by the Minnesota Commissioner of Commerce. Other requirements include:

  • All payments for the purchase of securities must be held in escrow until the company achieves its stated minimum offering amount;                                                                                                                                   
  • A disclosure document that includes certain required information must be made available through the portal;
  • Investors must provide evidence of their Minnesota residency; and,
  • At least 80 percent of the net proceeds of the offering must be used for the operation of the issuer’s business in Minnesota.

Read the bill…

In Maryland, the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) – a public-private partnership that promotes trade and investment between Maryland and Israeli companies – announced a partnership with Global equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd to boost investments in Maryland-based companies. Via the OurCrowd agreement, MIDC and its partners including the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and TEDCO will assist OurCrowd’s portfolio companies with their U.S. market entry and help attract them to business opportunities in Maryland, as well as introduce OurCrowd to potential investors. Currently, only accredited investors can make investments through OurCrowd, and investment values start at $10,000. Maryland companies also will be required to go through the OurCrowd application and due-diligence process before they are connected with the platform’s network of international investors. Read the announcement…

Maryland, Minnesotacrowdfunding, capital